Hymen and Virginity: A Social Humiliation

Nature distinguishes individuals of all species living on planet earth, male or female, who live together for a shorter period of time or participate in forming a population through courtship and mating for a lifetime. Both male and female individuals are equipped with a highly developed reproductive system; this becomes quite complex and intense in females compared to males as females carry the burden of children in their wombs. Although women play a vital role in raising children from birth to adulthood, they face many challenges, some known and some unknown. A female’s life in human society undergoes incredibly rapid changes as a young child. Life becomes radically multifaceted at every step as it grows until it reaches adulthood. Immediately after marriage, her husband’s “Are you a virgin?” his life changes suddenly.

Millions of girls face similar conditions every day, and sometimes conditions get so bad that they are badly abused by their spouses, which makes their survival hell. No one would ask this question to a man who slept with so many girls before he got married. Virginity is a very punishing social dishonor that poisons the minds of our societies that throttle girls’ lives. Where does this virginity question come from? The answer to this question is the existence of “HYMEN”, a very difficult membranous structure that ruptures during sexual intercourse and secretes a blood-bound fluid. Is it true that the hymen makes a woman a virgin? What if a woman does not have a hymen? Is it really breaking? There are many such questions that frequently circulate in the minds of men and even some women. Insufficient information, social and cultural myths actually concealed the truth between hymen and virginity.


The word ‘hymen’ is derived from a Greek word denoting a membrane as well as the Greek god of marriage, which science calls a very soft membrane covering a woman’s vaginal opening that may or may not shed during first sexual intercourse. Since time immemorial, many cultures have emphasized that a woman suffers from a ruptured hymen during her first sexual intercourse. Some also believe that to find out if a woman is a virgin, an examination should be done to detect the hymen. However, many people believe that bleeding occurs when the hymen is shed. It’s easy to guess that new husbands are overjoyed to see bloody sheets right after they have had their first sexual intercourse with their wives. Scientifically speaking, the hymen is not the main indicator of a woman’s virginity.

The anatomy of the hymen reveals that it is an insignificant tissue effectively or moderately adjacent to the external vaginal opening, forming part of the vulva in different shapes in different women, but mostly crescent-shaped in children. Sexual intercourse and childbirth (birth) adversely affect the hymen, for example, if the hymen is elastic it can return to its original position, in other cases only fragments can be accessed or lost after repeated penile penetration. An illness, injury, medical examination, masturbation, or any form of physical exercise can cast undesirable shadows on this fragile membrane that condemns the belief that it is a sign of virginity. The Glaister Keen stick can determine the presence and extent of the hymen cleft.

The development of the genital system begins from the third week of pregnancy until the second trimester, when the hymen hides the vagina of the female fetus. By the seventh week, the urorectal septum is formed, separating the rectum from the urogenital sinus. Müllerian ducts reach the urinogenital sinus, forming the uterovaginal duct connecting the urinogenital sinus in the ninth week. During the twelfth Müllerian ducts, they fuse together to form an aboriginal uterovaginal duct or unaleria, and the vaginal canal is finally formed in the fifth month, when the fetal hymen is ready by perforation of the synovaginal bulbs before or shortly after birth.

The hymen of newborn babies, which continues until the age of 2-4 with the effect of the mother’s hormones, is pale pink, thick and redundant because the baby’s body produces its own hormones and makes the opening of the hymen in the form of a ring. With age, the hymen becomes thin, smooth, delicate and translucent, and it is very sensitive to the touch and prone to rupture. Afterwards, the diameter of the hymen’s opening grows by about 1 mm each year and can be further inflated during puberty with tampons, pelvic exams, physical activity, or sexual intercourse. It is clear that when a girl reaches puberty, her hymen becomes very elastic. A survey sign that only 43% bleed during first intercourse, showing that the hymen for the majority of women is satisfactorily eclectic.

The opening of the hymen provides different shapes in pre-pubertal girls, with the most common shape being a crescent shape, which strongly suggests that they are under hormonal control and lifestyle. Estrogen and activity levels can make hymen tissue thicker after puberty. In cases of rape or child sexual abuse, hymen examination may be directed. In young children, the torn hymen heals quickly. After delivery, the vaginal opening shows hymen tags, often labeled as parousintroitus.

Hypoplasia, sewage defects, failure of lateral fusion and resorption cause various complications that damage the female reproductive system. If the perforated hymen is not pierced during puberty, it requires minor surgery, as it prevents the escape of menstrual fluid. The cribriform or microperforate hymen opening has very small openings, but the dividing one has numerous bands of tissue. Some cultures highly value the intact hymen in marriage as a sign of virginity. Some women have hymen surgery to restore their collapsed hymen to confirm that they are virgins. Sixteenth-century medical professionals used the hymen as a tool to detect hysteria. Many mammals also have a hymen, such as chimpanzees, manatees, whales, and horses.

Universal Myths

There are many myths in different cultures that portray the hymen as a symbol of the obligatory immaturity to be cracked on the first night of marriage, but the facts reveal it as a very thin mucous tissue covering the vaginal opening, and it can be of different shapes and can be thin, elastic, thick and thick. less flexible. This fragile membrane, which actually extends 1-2 cm deep into the vagina and easily infiltrates the cervix by inserting your finger into the vaginal canal, allows menstrual blood to flow from the vaginal opening.

Some females think that this tissue should break at the first penile penetration, but this ‘first time’ belief is a myth that in many women full penile penetration occurs after a few partial penetrations and the hymen becomes pliable enough to accommodate just the penis. In some women, a small amount of this tissue may break off, but this may not be the first time. Sexual intercourse should take place when a woman is aroused, relaxed, lubricated, penetration should be done slowly for the first time, as in such cases the problem of bleeding can be ignored. Strong penetration may result in bleeding, but some women bleed due to the inflexibility of the hymen.

According to a legend, the hymen tissue disappears after intercourse, but the truth is that this tissue never diminishes, it just creaks and stretches as time passes. Inserting something into the vagina breaks the hymen, as one legend explains, but in reality, slight tearing occurs after the introduction of anything similar to the width of the penis, such as a dilator or dildo, but never breaks. However, yeast-infected tampons or applicators are too narrow to act on the hymen tissue. Some cultures state that if the hymen is broken before marriage, the woman is no longer a virgin, but such a belief is strictly a myth and has nothing to do with virginity. Virginity is the absence of a penis (PIV) in the vagina. Some women believe that they cannot get pregnant if their hymen is intact, but any woman can become pregnant unless they use any contraceptive measures and until their partner ejaculates near or inside the vagina and is free from any reproductive system disease.

Physical exercises such as cycling can put pressure on the perineum or vaginal opening and affect the hymen, but this is not quite true as the pressure required to tear the hymen must be inside. Some females think they won’t be considered a virgin if they don’t bleed the first night, but no one can tell if any female has ever had sexual intercourse. Each woman’s hymen reacts differently, as some remain intact after their experience of penetration, while for others the first penetration is very easy, painless and without bleeding. Some cultures treat women very badly if they don’t bleed, and such practice is inhumane. As women also have the right to live, express, and fly high, the need to move from the narrow mental level to discovering the truth arises.

Myths Destroyed, Facts Revealed

Carol Roye, professor of nursing at Hunter College and nurse specializing in adolescent primary and reproductive health, recently published an article on the hymen in Women’s eNews, where she also persistently praises girls in Our Bodies Ourselves, which debunks all myths about this tissue. to change the thought of bleeding the first night. The hymen is not a flat piece of tissue that surrounds the vagina, as girls cannot menstruate, it surrounds the vagina. Some girls are even born without this tissue, while others have a negligible part; Keeping in mind that it’s a critical body part is a myth. Roye explains that the hymen can tear but never break during sex or any stubborn physical activity, and that torn areas can bleed, but not necessarily. While some of Roye’s patients ask questions such as whether cycling or using tampons or a partner’s finger insertion into the vagina can damage the hymen and render them virgin, some parents want to check if their daughter is a virgin. She just tells them that it is not easy to tell if a girl is a virgin and no one can tell if a girl was born with a hymen or not. She believes that virginity is actually a state of mind and how an individual receives it.

Time to Come Out of the Cocoon

The concept of the hymen still contains an emotional support that demands change. Virginity has nothing to do with the hymen, but it is a mental block that needs to be removed. Some cultures treat females cruelly if they don’t bleed on first intercourse, and such cold-blooded violence against women needs to be discouraged. Therefore, men as well as women are begged to get out of their narrow belief that the hymen is the chastity quadrant, since some females are born without the hymen and never break, if any, and that the penis lengthens during penetration with different reactions in different individuals. . As long as we hold on to this social stigma, we will never be able to reflect on a wider perspective of life.

Dear men “Are you a virgin?” they stop asking. love your brides, but love them, understand them and take care of them so that you can live happily and make this world a healthy and joyful place to live because God has created each individual in his own image and has given freedom to live.

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